Communication is an essential part of everyday life. We communicate our emotions, our thoughts, our needs and information we deem as necessary to share with someone else. There are different applications of communication that determine the manner in which we choose to communicate.
For example, when you have a conversation with a group of friends, you’re relaxed and don't feel the need to filter your thoughts before speaking. But when you’re in a room full of colleagues and needing to discuss a business matter, all of a sudden we become nervous, second-guess what we want to say or stay silent altogether.
when it comes to effective communication in the office, we can’t afford to not be confidentIt’s true that we communicate differently according to the situation we’re in. But when it comes to effective communication in the office, we can’t afford to not be confident when we speak up at meetings, strike conversations with our colleagues and ask to speak to our managers. It’s time to become a confident communicator at work and enjoy the benefits of business communication.
Master nonverbal communication
When you look at interpersonal skills in the workplace, the first things to come up are verbal and nonverbal communication. Before we look at verbal communication, the first step to becoming a more confident communicator is through nonverbal communication. Two nonverbal elements to take note of when communicating with someone include posture and eye contact.
Posture: If you want to feel confident when you speak at work then you’re going to need to stand up straight. By slouching, you’re not displaying interest or confidence. You also need to make sure you’re directly facing the person you’re speaking to and not fidgeting around with your hands or feet while talking or being spoken to. It’s both distracting and a display of your nerves when you do those things so stand up straight when you speak.
Eye contact: People want to know that you’re talking to them and, in turn, listening to them talk to you. They’re looking for a sign of respect and that relationship isn’t easily established without eye contact. Looking directly into someone’s eyes when you talk to them can be uncomfortable if you aren’t used to it, but that’s what the bridge of a person’s nose is for – it gives off the illusion of direct eye contact.
Learn to listen
In order to be a confident communicator, you need to be a great listener. If you aren’t listening, understanding and interpreting what someone is telling you, you won’t be able to reply appropriately.
You will end up asking for them to repeat themselves or replying with completely irrelevant information. There’s no confidence in stumbling over a conversation in your mind to find something to say when you weren’t paying attention in the first place.
Knowing what a conversation is about, what the fellow communicator wants to hear from you and the knowledge you possess on the topic is how you confidently provide feedback in a conversation. It's not something you can do without listening first.
Being confident when you communicate means you need to be assertive. There’s no reason to beat around the bush to provide context to your request in the hopes it will influence the answer you receive. All that does is bore the person you’re talking to and make it more difficult for them to follow and stay focused on what you’re trying to say.
In terms of business communication, time is money and your manager and colleagues would appreciate for you to get to the point. Be direct when you speak to people, know what information you’re after and ask for it straight out. If there’s an invitation to explain yourself after the fact, only then may you do so. But the key to confident communication is to be sure of yourself and ask for what you need as plainly as possible.
Trust your expertise
The reason why so many of us choose to stay quiet in meetings and avoid unnecessary conversations is that we don’t trust our expertise. Yes, there may be higher ranking professionals in your department and employees who have been in the company longer than you. But you are just as important as they are. You have your own set of skills and qualifications that make you the best person for your job.
Find confidence in what you were hired to do and trust in that when you’re in your next meeting and have something to say. Once you’ve listened to the meeting’s discussions, stand up tall, look your colleagues in their eyes, make sure you speak clearly and directly, and state your professional opinion.
More often than not there are mistakes made in business that could easily have been avoided by a speak-up from someone like you. It takes an entire team of employees to do business and that includes you.